Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery tackled a variety of subjects Tuesday, in the wake of missing the playoffs and the firing of coach Lovie Smith. Emery said the final decision on the next coach will be his alone, and he will begin talking to candidates this week and next.
"I'm looking for a person who has excellence in their role, a leader, someone who is highly organized and thorough in their approach," Emery said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "I'm going to do everything with a sense of urgency. My druthers would be, I could stand shoulder to shoulder with this individual at the all-star games. The East-West (Shrine Game) is coming up."
Emery clearly believes the Bears have the talent to compete for a championship. He called Jay Cutler a franchise quarterback and said the next coach must further develop the strong-armed signal-caller. Emery also said running back Matt Forte wasn't properly used in the pass game. The defense already is stocked.
The coach must be "adaptable and flexibility to make the players we have fit toward making a run toward a championship," Emery said. "We want to win now. We want to win that championship now. It is about now."
Smith was known for his mastery of the Cover 2 defense, and the entire unit was built to fit that mold. Emery said he has no 4-3 or 3-4 defensive alignment preference, but the Bears don't have players to fit a 3-4 scheme at the moment. If they want to win now, the next coach will have to use those 4-3 pieces.
The defense wasn't the issue with the Bears' free fall after the 7-1 start. That side of the ball was fine for most of Smith's nine seasons. The offense never consistently materialized, though much of that can be traced to a lack of talent -- which is Emery's job. Smith's replacement must possess a strong offensive mind. Results will be expected quickly.
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